Ireland bow out


THE Irish women's tennis team had to accept that their challenge in the Federation Cup (Group 11) had ended amid the thunderstorms at the Israel Tennis Centre yesterday.

Defeats by both Denmark and Ukraine sealed the Irish team's fate during an on-off day as rain disrupted both play and concentration.

It began in encouraging manner as Gina Niland polished off the 328-ranked Dane Karin Ptaszek in the resumed match. The overnight score was 6-4 4-3 in favour of Niland and she took the two games needed to force the deciding doubles.

However, things began to go sour from that point with Niland and Lesley O'Halloran only managing four games in their 6-2 6-2 defeat against Sandra Olsen and Tina Scheuer-Larsen.

Within an hour the Irish were back on court to take on favourites Ukraine. But Claire Curran was easily beaten by the 273-ranked Elena Briooukhovets 6-2 6-2 and Niland then went down by the same margin to Elena Tatarkova.